OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Arian Foster / RB / Houston Texans
The regular season ended like it began in this space, with Foster getting the nod as our Offensive Player of the Week after going off against an AFC South opponent. He ran 31 times for 180 yards, gaining 5.8 yards per carry in Week 17, and also made two catches for 10 yards in the Texans' 34-17 win over the Jaguars. Foster had the first and last scores of the game, plunging into the endzone on a two-yard run in the first quarter before closing things out with a 35-yard TD run in the fourth quarter. The second-year veteran, who signed with the Texans as an undrafted free agent before the 2009 season, finished his breakout year by locking up the regular-season rushing title, but the Texans' season came to a disappointing 6-10 finish. Foster joined Priest Holmes as the only undrafted players to earn a rushing title since 1967.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Erik Walden / OLB / Green Bay Packers
With the Packers needing a win to make it into the playoffs, Walden made the most of his second career start, totaling 11 tackles, 10 of which were solo stops, and two of Green Bay's six sacks in a 10-3 win over the division-rival Bears at raucous Lambeau Field. Walden, who signed with the Packers in late October, had never made a sack previously in his three-year career, which included stops in Kansas City and Miami. Filling in for the injured Frank Zombo, Walden took all the newfound attention in stride after the game. "I was just doing my job," Walden said. "It was only one game. I was just happy we got the win for my teammates and my coaches. We have a lot of work, so we're just going to go back and watch the film, and get ready for (the playoff game against the Eagles)."
SPECIAL-TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Julian Edelman / WR-PR / New England Patriots
Edelman flashed back to a play from Week 14 as he celebrated a 94-yard punt return for a touchdown on Sunday with a leap into the first row of the stands at Gillette Stadium, recalling the 71-yard TD return he made against the Bears, which was called back because of a holding penalty. "I was actually thinking about that," he said. "I was thinking, I'm going to look like an idiot going up into those stands if there's a flag out there. But we didn't (get called for a penalty), fortunately, and we got the touchdown finally." Edelman didn't follow up his promising rookie season with much production on offense in Year Two — he had only seven catches for 86 yards — but he capped off the regular season on a high note in the Patriots' 38-7 rout of the Dolphins.